Race to the Cloud

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Taking a look at what the trends and moves that Tech Giants are making in the Race to the Cloud.

We’re at the height of complexity

As TechCrunch put it, ‘we’re at peak complexity — and it sucks”. On the one hand organizations still have paper documents and outdated grey box enterprise systems. On the other hand, there is a race to the cloud; it’s a “tsunami that is remaking how businesses think about and use technology”.

Enterprise SaaS will triple in the next 5 years

One of the technology trends for 2016 was the move to the cloud. According to Forbes, Enterprise SaaS is expected to triple in the next five years. There have been an unprecedented number of technology news and acquisitions in the last few months pertaining to this trend. This signifies to what extent this race is heating up.

Tech Giants are making big moves in the race to the cloud

Oracle has been making some significant moves, ranging from their acquisition of NetSuite in July, their partnership with HelloSign last week, and their most recent acquisition announcement of the cloud security startup Palerra.

Others are making waves as well. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn, presumably driven at least in part to leverage the algorithms in order to compete with Salesforce. Salesforce announced that they will be releasing their CRM AI platform “Einstein” at their Dreamforce conference in October. In their announcement, Salesforce sees AI (artificial intelligence) as the key to compete with both Oracle and Microsoft. Google is moving on AI as well, having just announced their acquisition of Api.ai. IBM has claimed the “next phase of the cloud race is to “add value”; they are taking that statement seriously considering they acquired 9 companies in within the first six months of 2016.

The acquisitions we are seeing are in two camps; on one side you have the embrace of AI, Machine Learning and Blockchain, while on the other hand, it’s taking mundane offline tasks like contract signatures, contract management and file storage and putting them in the cloud.

Key aspects of moving to the Cloud

So what do all of these tech moves mean for organizations looking to move to the cloud? Organizations who have not yet considered making the move to the cloud risk falling behind. However, we can’t forget that any change in a system needs other moving parts to be successful and valuable. Changing a system is not a straightforward task. An implementation of or a change in processes, as well as involvement and adoption from people within the organization is equally as important. You could see it as a chicken and an egg situation. Where do you start? What comes first? That being said, no matter how you slice it, adopting cloud technology is becoming essential.

This takes us back to the “peak of complexity”. Companies are straddling the analog and digital divide while witnessing the race to the cloud. How does one navigate the complexity of existing systems (that may need replacing), let alone navigating the plethora of cloud based options available? What we learned from the ACC discussion with in-house counsel on contract management solutions, two of the key things to identify is what your needs are both now and in the future, as well as the processes you have in place. Once those are defined you can begin shopping around. There are also a multitude of resources available that can help you identify what key things you need to consider when looking for new technology, like this one on Contract Management Software evaluation. The opportunity with moving to the cloud is that you no longer need to seek out one solution to solve all your system needs.

Has your company begun its move to the cloud? What systems are priority for you to transition?

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About Author

Procurement and Supply Australasia (PASA) is the leading provider of information and education to procurement and supply professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. PASA supports the largest community of engaged procurement stakeholders in the region, through its renowned series of events, publications, awards, plus various community and network building activities. PASA is a trading name of BTTB Marketing, for many years recognised as the leading producer of conferences and events for the procurement profession in Australia and New Zealand. Whether producing under the BTTB, CIPSA Conferences or now PASA brands over the last ten years, our events have consistently led the market in terms of both educational and networking opportunities.

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